Harston Wood nature reserve
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust owns or manages 27 nature reserves across the county, from wild open moorlands to ancient bluebell woods, wildflower meadows and wetlands ringing with birdsong.
Our nature reserves are havens for wildlife and places where you can experience the beauty of the natural world. Take the family for a springtime walk in a dappled woodland, or grab your binoculars and try spotting some rare wetland birds.
Where's my nearest nature reserve?
See our map to find your nearest reserve.
What will I see at each nature reserve?
Here is a quick guide to each of our nature reserves. Use the menu on the left to explore each reserve in more detail.
- Allimore Green Common: A small, species rich wet grassland near Haughton, in Stafford Borough. Highlights: Visit in spring and early summer to see an abundance of wildflowers, including orchids.
- Bateswood: A grassland reserve with a network of pools near Newcastle-under-Lyme. Highlights: Visit in summer and you're almost guaranteed to hear the beautiful song of skylarks as you wander.
- Black Firs and Cranberry Bog: A 15 acre peatland reserve near Madeley, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Highlights: Visit in summer and look for one of our rarest and largest ferns, the Royal Fern. NB. For safety reasons, Cranberry Bog is not open to the public.
- Brankley Pastures: The Trust is working to restore wood pasture, a rare and special wildlife habitat, at this attractive reserve near Barton-under-Needwood. Highlights: Visit in autumn to see a profusion of fungi.
- Brown End Quarry: A former limestone quarry now managed as a geological nature reserve near Waterhouses. Highlights: Visit all year round to enjoy the dramatic rock exposures.
- Castern Wood: Ancient woodland and species rich limestone grassland in the Manifold Valley. Highlights: Visit in late summer to see aromatic wild thyme and yellow rockrose and an abundance of butterflies.
- Cotton Dell: A magical ancient woodland with a brook running through it, surrounded by flower-rich grassland. Highlights: Visit on a sunny autumn day to enjoy the sights and sounds of the woodland.
- Croxall Lakes: Two lakes which attract a variety of waterfowl in Alrewas. Highlights: In winter, look out for wigeon and teal on the water.
- Doxey Marshes: A 300 acre wetland on the outskirts of Stafford. Highlights: Take a stroll in spring to hear sedge warblers, reed bunting and other songbirds.
- Gentleshaw Common: An 86 hectare site in Rugeley. Highlights: Visit the site in August and enjoy the purple splendour of this lowland heathland
- George's Hayes: 48 acres of woodland on the edge of Cannock Chase. Highlights: Visit in spring to see the county's largest colony of native wild daffodils.
- Harston Wood: A flower filled ancient woodland in the Churnet Valley. Highlights: Woodland wildflowers in spring, with wild garlic carpeting the woodland floor.
- Hem Heath Woods: A 100 acre woodland in Trentham. Highlights: Visit in spring to enjoy blueball displays.
- Highgate Common: A 321 acre ancient lowland heath near Wombourne. Highlights: Visit in late summer to see swathes of beautiful purple heather in flower.
- Ipstones Edge: A mixture of heathland, moorland and woodland near Ipstones. Highlights: The heathland is at its best in late summer when the hillside is covered in swathes of purple heather.
- Jackson's Coppice and Marsh: An ancient semi-natural woodland and marsh near Eccleshall. Highlights: Enjoy a walk around the boardwalk in spring to see some lush marshland plantys.
- Loynton Moss: A 135 acre wetland landscape near Woodseaves. Highlights: Visit at any time of year to discover the unique landscape formed as a result of retreating ice sheets at the end of the last ice age.
- Parrot's Drumble: A beautiful ancient bluebell woodland in Talke Pits, near Newcastle-under-Lyme. Highlights: Visit in May to see one of the best bluebell displays in the county.
- Pasturefields Saltmarsh: One of the last known surviving inland saltmarshes in the British Isles near Hixon. Highlights: Keen botanists will find some unique saltmarsh plants. NB: There are no formal paths on the reserve but you can view it from the neighbouring canal towpath.
- Radford Meadows: 104 acres of river washland in Stafford. Highlights: Visits during winter and spring may be rewarded with the sights and sounds of many wetland birds. NB: There is no public access to this reserve but you may view it from the canal towpath.
- Rod Wood: A 40 acre nature reserve near Cheddleton which consists of some of the finest wildflower meadows in the county. Highlights: Visit in July to see the flowers at their best and look out for orchids.
- Side Farm Meadows: 10 acres of attractive wildflower meadows and a trickling waterfall near Oakamoor. Highlights: In mid summer catch knapweed and ox-eye daisy in flower and dragonflies buzzing around the small pond.
- The Roaches: Soaring rock faces and panoramic views make The Roaches, near Leek, one of the most photographed landscapes in Staffordshire. Highlights: Visit at any time of year to enjoy breathtaking scenery and wild open landscapes.
- Thorswood: Flower rich pastures and a spectacular rolling landscape in the Weaver Hills. Highlights: Visit during summer to see orchids and look for hares lying quietly in the grass.
- Weag's Barn: Picturesque meadows and woodland near Waterhouses. Highlights: Walk to the derelict barn at the top of the hillside to get spectacular views across the Manifold Valley.